Menendez Corruption Trial Begins, Second In A Decade, Allegedly Paid In Gold Bars

Menendez Corruption Trial Begins, Second In A Decade, Allegedly Paid In Gold Bars

FILE - Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., and his wife Nadine Menendez arrive for the State Dinner with President Joe Biden and India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the White House, June 22, 2023, in Washington. Sen. Bob Menendez and his wife were indicted Friday, Sept. 22, on bribery charges. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)

The corruption trial begins Monday for New Jersey Democrat Sen. Bob Menendez in New York City.

Menendez and his wife, Nadine, were indicted in September 2023 in a a sprawling case that accuses them of doing favors for two foreign governments and three New Jersey businessmen in exchange for gold bars, stacks of cash and a Mercedes-Benz found at the couple’s home.

The senator is charged with 17 counts of bribery, corruption, conspiracy, wire fraud, acting as a foreign agent without registering with the U.S. Justice Department and obstruction of justice. His wife faces many of the same counts.

Judge Sidney Stein allowed the couple to split their cases into two separate trials at Nadine Menendez’s request, due to health issues she is facing.

The senator and two businessmen also accused in the scheme, Wael Hana and Fred Daibes, will be tried together, with jury selection set to start on Monday. Nadine Menendez will be tried after that trial is completed.

A third businessman in the case, Jose Uribe, pleaded guilty to charges of bribery, wire fraud, obstruction of justice and tax evasion in March, and is expected to provide testimony.

Court papers and legal analysts suggest the senator may try to shift guilt onto Nadine Menendez.

Read the full story at Gothamist.